A female driver in a gray Mercedes Benz ran a red light in Los Angeles, causing a horrific, fiery crash that claimed the lives of six people, including an infant and a pregnant woman.
The multi-vehicle crash occurred near a gas station in the Windsor Hills neighborhood at roughly 1:41 p.m. Thursday, according to People. The California Highway Patrol reported the Mercedes went through a red light in the Slauson and La Brea Avenue area and hit roughly six cars, two of which burst into flames, according to CBS LA. The driver of the Mercedes survived the crash and was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, according to People.
Nine others injured in the collision were taken to local hospitals for treatment, NBC Los Angeles reported. A sixth victim was later located in one of the cars on fire, according to the outlet. Surveillance footage of the crash site shows the moment the Mercedes flew into the intersection, as well as the devastating aftermath.
A witness named Debra Jackson whose car reportedly caught fire from the crash and spoke out about her experience: “All of a sudden, I heard a big explosion, but as I was trying to turn around, the flames just went over everybody,” Jackson said, according to People. “The flames went over my whole car and they told me to jump out of my car … because I was trying to get out of my car, to go to the gas pump. And I jumped out of my car and just left my car sitting right there,” Jackson said. (RELATED: Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski Killed In Car Crash)
Eyewitness Veronica Esquivel was pumping gas when the collision occurred. “I hear all of the noises from all of the collisions, and then the fire explosion and I saw things, metal and things flying in the air. So, I just covered myself behind the pump,” Esquivel said, according to People.
The fire from the high-impact collision burned with such intensity that it melted a nearby traffic light, according to CNN.
The rate of speed of the Mercedes has not yet been determined, although authorities estimate the car was moving up to 60 miles per hour, NBC LA reported. The investigation remains under way.